Can you imagine not having that annoying leg, back, neck, or shoulder pain at work?
If you spend all day sitting in a chair at a desk, you understand that a comfortable chair can make your workday better, less painful, and more productive. If you feel this way, imagine how all your employees feel at their cubicle stations?
When you make a few changes to your environment so that it’s better fit to your body and needs, you will not only will you feel better overall, with less fatigue, less pain, and more energy, but you'll also decrease the risk of developing repetitive stress injuries (like carpel tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow) that can keep you from going to work or working at your best for long periods of time. Such injuries tend to lead to very expensive worker’s compensation claims, which nobody wants.
So many folks tend to jump to ordering new chairs, which can cost anywhere from $0 to a hefty $1,000+ each. Many business owners think they need to buy everyone in the office $700 Herman Miller chairs. But this actually does not always solve the problem.
"Ergonomics refers to fitting the environment to your unique needs. A chair or a keyboard itself is NOT ergonomic, UNLESS it is fitted for YOUR body." - Tweet this!
Instead, you can learn the following 5 simple and completely FREE chair adjustments that you can make to your existing chair, then share it with your employees…before even thinking about taking out the company wallet.
Simple and FREE Ergonomic Chair Adjustments
- Give your feet a boost: If your feet are dangling when you sit all the way back in your chair, you need a footstool. Same thing if you find yourself resting your feet on the chair casters (legs). Grab a stack of books to rest your feet on.
- Give your booty a boost: If your wrists are above your elbows when you are working on the desk (typing/writing/reading), it means your seat is too low. Throw some cushions on your seat, or, if your chair height is adjustable, raise the seat using the chair knobs.
- Give your back a boost: You always want to sit with your back supported by the chair, but you don't want the backs of your knees touching the seat - it cuts off circulation and can lead to cankles (swelling). Push your bottom forward in the seat with a pillow or rolled up towel. OR, if you have a nice computer chair, there might be a knob that allows you to push the entire back of the chair forward.
- Give your low back curve a boost: Our low backs are naturally supposed to curve forward a little bit, so if you find yourself slouching in your seat with your shoulders rolled forward, try rolling up a towel and place it in your low back.
- Tilt the chair so that it's at neutral or tilting just slightly forward. If you have an adjustable chair, sometimes the seat may be tilting backwards. This usually puts you in a position where your knees are higher than your hips, you are reclining in the chair, and your chin is jutting forward while you work. No bueno. So play with the knobs until you find the tilt knob, and tilt the chair forward until the seat is parallel to the floor or the front is tilting ever-so-slightly downwards. If you have a really old chair with the seat completely worn, throw a pillow on the seat.
Again, be sure you always try these free adjustments first before thinking about buying a new chair. Share this with your employees as well before dipping into the company’s accounts!
To learn more about reducing aches and pains that lead to cumulative and costly injuries at work, download this free Cheat Sheet, “Get More Work Done By Getting Rid of Aches and Pains.”